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Africa urged to build capacities to negotiate for green climate financing

At least 20 heads of state and Government are expected in Nairobi for the historic summit (Photo/Jackson Mnyamwezi)

African Union member states have been asked to build the necessary capacities to be able to effectively negotiate for green climate financing.

“African countries must build local capacities, you can actually have an African Summit or go to as many COPs, but if you do not have the capacity for accessing global funds,” says Technical University of Kenya Professor George Outa.

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Prof. Outa who is also an expert in Climate Change Policy, says that resources needed for adaptation and mitigation to climate change are enormous but this will not be realized by merely attending the climate change meetings.

“It is extremely important to build capacities,” says Prof. Outa and adds, “Ever since global negotiations began in 1972 when environmental governance began in Sweden there has always been a provision of assisting developing countries.”

While noting that Kyoto Protocol was well placed to guide the community of nations in tackling climate change, as it had legally binding targets, it became difficult to implement because, “the international community lacks an avenue for enforcement, the international community has no enforcement mechanism,” says Prof. Outa.

The threat to industrialised countries mode of production meant that Kyoto Protocol posed a threat, while the target of Annex One states to reduce emissions was seen as a threat to the economies.

“Kyoto did not succeed because most developed nations felt that it could undermine their economies and therefore needed time to work on how to put in place measures to implement the protocol,” said Prof. Outa in an interview with KBCChannel1.

The complexity of the protocol that put more emphasis on emission reduction in developed countries negated the fact that China and India which were classified as developing countries were also emitting as much as the industrialized nations.

The coming in of the Paris Agreement which was adopted by 196 Parties at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, France, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016 became the panacea in finding a common ground in tackling climate change.

The overarching goal of the Paris Agreement was to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels while pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Prof. Outa notes that while these provisions were well-meaning, it still behooves parties to the agreement to achieve the targets set out in the agreement. Countries came up with Nationally Determined Contributions aimed at limiting global warming to 1.5°C

Kenya, he says has been able to stay the course by investing in renewable energy has seen the country have 93% of its installed energy capacity being renewable energy and help reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the same time “More Kenyans are aware of climate change and its implications,” he adds.

As the continent descends on Nairobi for the Africa Climate Summit, Prof. Outa hopes that Africa will have a common stand to negotiate for green climate financing the aid in realizing the many targets towards tackling climate change.

Judith Akolo
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